Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess is an animated television movie that premiered on November 18, 2012 on Disney Junior. It was the pilot for the animated series that premiered on January 11, 2013 starring the titular protagonist Sofia, and Flora, Fauna and Merryweather from Disney's Sleeping Beauty.
Flora, Fauna and Merryweather appear and introduce Sofia, a happy go lucky eight year old girl living with her mother, Miranda. One day Miranda and Sofia are called for a shoe fitting by King Roland II, King of Enchancia. It's love at first sight for Roland and Miranda. They soon marry, making Miranda Queen of Enchancia and Sofia the kingdom's second princess and the Royal Family's youngest member. Upon arriving at the castle Sofia meets her new father, Baileywick, the castle steward, Cedric, the Royal Sorceror (who Sofia calls Mr Ceedric) and her new older siblings Princess Amber and Prince James, the Royal Twins of Enchancia. James accepts Sofia as his new little sister instantly but Amber is very rude to her. Roland accepts Sofia as his new daughter instantly and tells her "Call me Roland, or You! With the Crown, Or Dad" and tells her he's throwing a Royal Ball for her Royal Debut stating that it's the best way to let everyone in the Tri-Kingdom Area know that Princess Sofia has arrived.
Through a song, Sofia reveals her insecurites and her belief that she's not ready to be a princess because she knows being Royal has huge responibilities and she knows she's untrained and inexperienced when it comes to fulfilling them. She finds her mother and tells her all this and that she doesn't want a Royal Ball because she doesn't know how to dance and doesn't want to let anyone down. Miranda tells her she'll be fine. Roland, who has heard everything, comes out of the shadows and gives Sofia a lovely purple amulet that he says is special and tells her she must promise to never take it off. Sofia delightfully accepts the amulet and happily promises that she'll wear it all the time and never let it out of her sight. On the way back to bed Sofia bumps into Cedric who reconizes her new amulet as the Amulet of Avalor and begins plotting to trick Sofia into giving it to him.
The next day, Sofia, James, and Amber take a flying coach to the Royal Preparatory Academy. There she meets the Headmistresses Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, The Three Good Fairies. Sofia asks them to teach her how to be a true princess by Friday, the day of her Royal Debut Ball. Through a song, they tell her that becoming a true princess is something that takes time. Everyone takes an instant shine to Princess Sofia. Amber convinces James to give Sofia a ride on the Enchanted Swing Set. James does so which makes everyone's smiles vanish. The swing ride sends Sofia sailing into a fountain. Sofia laughs it off stating "Good one James. You got me." Everyone is shocked that James would do something so cruel to his little sister with Zandar stating "I thought you said that she's your sister."
Meanwhile, a drenched and upset Sofia stumbles across a baby bird who has fallen out of it's nest and helps it return to it's mother stating "There you go. Just the two of you. The way it should be." revealing how lonely she truly feels now that she's a princess and that she already misses the days when it was just her and her mother. Sofia's amulet glows and the birds thank her. After she arrives back home Cedric intercepts her and takes her to his workshop where he reveals to her that her amulet is the Amulet of Avalor, a mystical object that contains powerful magic. He also explains the rule that tells how it powers are activated: With each deed performed for better or worse a power is granted a blessing or curse. He asks her to let him take a look at it but she refuses because she promised Roland she would never take it off and her mother always taught her that when she makes a promise she must keep it no matter what.
The next morning, Sofia meets Clover, Mia, and Robin and discovers that she can understand what they're saying. She realizes the meaning of the rule: When she does good deeds the Amulet of Avalor gives her magical powers and now she has the power to talk to animals. Through a song, Clover reveals that the reason woodland creatures have always helped princess is because they want food and Sofia, who's happy to finally have new friends, obliges. A now confident Sofia now dedicates herself to becoming the best princess ever both to fulfill her responibilies as one and to prove herself to the other Royals who she thinks hold her in contempt and she also avoids James and Amber so they can't haze her again because she no longer trusts them and decides to keep to herself and keep her distance from the other students and do everything herself because she believes she's on her own. When she comes home the day before the Royal Ball, she finds her friends Ruby and Jade waiting for her. During the visit, James comes over. Sofia, who still hasn't forgiven him and Amber for the nasty trick they played on her, asks him "What are you doing here?!" in a way that tells him why Sofia's been avoiding him and Amber for the past few days. James apologizes for the trick and offers to show her the ropes which she accepts. He also tells her about Professer Popov's dance class the next day. Sofia arrives at dance class but before she can take some dance shoes Amber comes by and hands her a pair. Sofia steps forward to recieve her dance lessons but when the music begins the shoes start making her dance goofily. Sofia realizes that the shoes are trick shoes and stops long enough to see a nasty look in Amber's eyes and realize she tricked her again just before she's sent crashing to the ground. Amber states that she must have grabbed them by mistake but Sofia doesn't buy a syllibile of this because she knows Amber gave them to her on purpose to wreak her chances of getting much needed dance lessons and furiously refuses to talk to her out of anger because she has had enough of Amber conning and pranking her.
When she gets back home, she asks Cedric for a dancing spell. He gives her a spell but as soon as she leaves Cedric reveals the spell is actually a sleeping spell and after it's cast he plans to blackmail Sofia into handing over the amulet. Meanwhile, a furious James confronts Amber for the trick shoe incident angrily stating that he knows Amber gave the trick shoes to Sofia on purpose, that he knows what she did wasn't just a prank, that she knew Sofia needed Popov's dance lessons, that he knows Amber's trying to ruin Sofia's Royal Ball because she's jealous of Sofia's beauty and of the fact that everyone likes her more than Amber and yells that because of what she did to Sofia, he likes Sofia more than Amber too and storms off. Upset, Amber tries to call him back and in the process rips her gown. When she goes out to find the maids she hears them in Sofia's room complementing her beauty calling her "the prettiest princess in the palace." Amber runs back into her room sobbing.
Sofia arrives in a sparkling version of her princess gown and everyone is amazed by how beautiful she looks. She casts the spell and to her horror everyone falls asleep even Cedric. Thinking she must have said it wrong and that she's all alone Sofia breaks down and cries. When a tear drops on the amulet it suddenly begins to glow summoning Cinderella. Cinderella explains to Sofia that when Sofia gets in trouble or really needs help, the Amulet of Avalor will summon a Princess like herself to help Sofia. Cinderella reveals that Amber is still awake and can help her. Sofia, still angry at Amber because of all the nasty things she'd done to her, is reluctant to trust her but through a song, Cinderella encourages Sofia to give her another chance then vanishes.
Sofia tells Amber what happened and Amber apologizes for her behavior and admits her jealousy and the two sisters reconcile and finallly become sisters in the truest sense of the word and ever after friends. Together they find the counterspell. Sofia repairs Amber's gown and Amber gives Sofia a dance lesson. Sofia casts the counterspell and the dance begins during which Sofia calls Roland "Dad" instead of "Your Majesty" for the first time. Sofia asks him why people call him Roland II and he tells her it's because his father was also named Roland. This makes Sofia say "Well then, I guess that makes me Sofia the First." Her family dance together having finally truly become a family.
As with many of the classic Disney movies, music plays an important role in Sofia the First: Once Upon A Princess and the Sofia the First series. The movie features five original songs ranging in musical styles from contemporary pop in songs like "Rise and Shine" and ballads like "Not Ready To Be A Princess" to those with more of a traditional classic Disney feature film/Broadway style like "Royal Prep" performed by Fauna, Flora, Merryweather, and the students; "True Sisters" performed by Sofia and Cinderella; and "A Little Bit of Food," a fun, upbeat song performed by Clover and his fellow animals that uncovers the mystery of why woodland creatures have been hanging around princesses for years.
Home Video Release
- Ariel Winter as Sofia
- Sara Ramirez as Queen Miranda
- Wayne Brady as Clover
- Tim Gunn as Baileywick
- Darcy Rose Byrnes as Princess Amber
- Zach Callison as Prince James
- Travis Willingham as King Roland II
- Jess Harnell as Cedric the Sorcerer
- Ashley Eckstein as Mia
- Meghan Strange as Robin
- Barbara Dirickson as Flora
- Russi Taylor as Fauna
- Tress MacNeille as Merryweather
- Jennifer Hale as Cinderella
- Jim Cummings as Wormwood
- Fiona Bishop as Ruby Hanshaw
- Isabella Acres as Jade
- Jennifer Hale, the voice of Cinderella, had to sing the song "True Sisters" due to Tami Tappan (Cinderella's singing voice) not being able to make the recording.
The special got the 5th most viewers for the week, with 5.151 million viewers, the highest for any Disney animated special since Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation! in 2009. It was #1 or #2 for several areas: Top cartoon, non-sports program, top 1 hour show, and top Disney show. It has the largest 2-5 crowd (1.5 million) since Atlantis Squarepants from 2007. It was also Kids 6-11 (1.6 million/6.7 rating), and was the #2 scripted cable TV telecast in Total Viewers (5.151 million). Notably, the movie became the #1 cable TV telecast in 5 years in preschoolers 2-5 and in 10 years in Girls 2-5 (954,000/12.2 rating). On IMDB, the special has a 6.3 rating from 225 users. It also had 1.4 million adults watching it.